Saturday, August 27, 2011

Oracle 11.2.0.n - Sev 1, Sev 1, Sev 1, and Sev 1


Screen shot 2011-08-25 at 12.15.53 PM

One database, four SR’s at Sev one. The oldest one has been a one for 16 days.

Nice, eh?

We’re pretty sure that Oracle doesn’t play anywhere near as nice with our workload as 10.2.0.[45].

FWIW - The ‘SUN box stuck’ SR is open because a diagnostic script that Oracle had us run deadlocked a DB writer on libaio bug in Solaris 10 (Bug 6994922).

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Deprovisioning as a Security Practice II

In Service Deprovisioning as a Security Practice, I asserted that using a structured process for shutting down unused applications, servers & firewall rules was good security practice.

On the more traditional employee/contractor deprovisioning process, I often run into managers who view employee deprovisioning as something that protects the organization from the rogue former employee who creates chaos after they leave. If they feel that the former employee is leaving on good terms and unlikely to ‘go rogue’, they treat account deprovisioning as a background, low priority activity.

There is obviously an interest in protecting the organization from the actions of the former employee, but something that is just as important to me is to  protect the employee/contractor from events that happen after they leave. I’d really hate to see someone get blamed for an event that happened after they left our employment. That’d be really unfair to them.

For employees who are leaving on good terms, making sure that they are properly disabled is essential to insure that they don’t get blamed for things that they didn’t do.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Have all big government internet projects

According to a UK ePetition by Harel Malka, we should:
Have all big government internet projects pass the approval of a technical panel made of professionals from the tech statup[sic] sector.
This is an interesting idea – and one that I could buy into (under the right conditions…)
I’m a government employee that manages systems and projects that run into the millions of dollars. Would advice from the private sector help me?



Private sector consultants are in it for the money. I can pay them for advice, but in all honesty, it’s not a sure thing that I’ll get advice that is worth more than what I paid. I’ve seen plenty of cases where ‘Those who can, do; those who can’t teachconsult.’

Free advice from the private sector IT might fall under a different umbrella though. Presumably one could find skilled private sector IT practitioners who have an altruistic motive rather than a profit motive, and presumably one could find skilled persons who can donate sufficient personal time to solving public sector problems, or who work for a corporation that is willing to release them to advise on public sector projects instead of performing miracle's for profit in their own corporation.

The ePetition is a bit off the mark though. It asserts that:
All proposals of high budget IT projects should pass through a panel of independent professionals from the private sector who are experienced in running large scale internet start-ups. [emphasis mine)
I’d suggest that there is no reason to think there is a relationship between large scale startups and large scale IT projects involving legacy business processes, government rules & laws, legacy systems, legacy processes, public sector budget cycles, etc. I’d rather see advice from those who are experienced in large scale IT projects, rather than successful startups. I don’t think that’s the same skill set.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Gig.U, Gigabit to the Home

Gig.U is on track. That’s cool.

I’ll be very interested if Gigabit Ethernet to the home makes a difference to the ordinary home user. I’ll go on record and say that I don’t think it will. The Gig.U experiment might come up with novel and interesting uses that can’t be met by a 10 or 100Mbps home connection, but if the interesting & novel new uses for high bandwidth to the home show up, they will not radically change ordinary home users lives.

Once you get above about 6Mbps to the home, what makes a difference to the home user isn’t bandwidth, it’s data caps & quotas. If I have a 6Mbps internet connection with a high data cap (like Comcast’s 250GB cap), I can radically change how I consume information. If I have higher bandwidth connection but a low data cap (like a 2GB cap on a 3G/4G phone or the 50GB caps imposed by other ISP’s), I can’t fundamentally change how I consume information/media. That’s why I don’t care if my phone is 3G or 4G. In either case it’s still a 2GB cap, so It’s still a handicapped phone. Because it’s capped, It’s not capable of changing my lifestyle.

In short:

  • Low caps prevent high bandwidth from being a game changer.
  • Faster bandwidth is irrelevant unless it is accompanied by a higher cap/quota. Without a high cap/quota, we are not going to change how we access information.
  • Slower bandwidth with a higher cap can dramatically change how we access information, and therefor is more valuable than faster bandwidth with a lower cap.

As I’ve written before:

  • Network access should be ubiquitous. That means everywhere, no excuses.
  • Moderate speeds and ubiquitous coverage is more important than high speeds with sporadic coverage.
  • Low access costs are essential - under $40/month, for example. Tiered access is OK, if you want cheap, you give up fast.
  • Low end (4Mbps) broadband is like electricity, it’s a necessity, and even the poorest of society should have access to it.
  • There have to be reasonable quotas. Comcast’s 250GB/month quota is quite reasonable. Others are not.

Broadband access like the railroads on the prairie. When the railroads got built, you either made sure they went through your town or your town died. That’ll happen  with broadband too, communities that have incumbent telco/cable providers that do not deliver low cost, ubiquitous broadband will shrivel up and die, much like the communities that got bypassed by the railroads.

FWIW – At work I have GigE to the desktop connected to a GigE LAN that uplinks to a 10Gig backbone that is connected to multiple Tier 1 ISP’s at multi-gigabit or 10Gigabit speeds, but none of that has made any difference in how I work, how much work I get done or what I do at work.

What has made a difference?